Things That Make You Go Hmmm - On The 99th Anniversary Of The Titanic's Sinking...

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From Grant Williams' Things That Make You Go Hmmm

Just before midnight on this day in 1912 something unthinkable happened to something unsinkable as the Titanic failed to avert its course in time and struck the iceberg that would rip a hole in five of the 16 separate compartments that made up its hull. The 883 foot-long luxury liner had been designed so that it could withstand damage to 4 of the 16 compartments and stay afloat – thereby earning its unsinkable reputation.

The Titanic had left Southampton four days earlier, stopped in Cherbourg in France and then Queenstown in Ireland to pick up passengers before heading out into the North Atlantic en route to New York. Below decks, a drifter named Jack Dawson and his best friend Fabrizio De Rossi had won tickets to the ship in a card game. Dawson spotted society girl Rose DeWitt Bukater, who was on her way to Philadelphia to marry her rich snob fiancé Cal Hockley. Rose felt trapped by her situation and made her way to the aft deck where she contemplated suicide until she was rescued by Jack. Cal was therefore obliged to invite Jack to dine at their first-class table where he suffered through the slights of his snobbish hosts. In return, he spirited Rose off to third class for an evening of dancing, giving her the time of her life. Deciding to forsake her intended future all together, Rose asked Jack, who had made his living making sketches on the streets of Paris, to draw her in the nude wearing the invaluable blue diamond Cal had given her. Cal found out and had Jack locked away….

Hang on a second….

sorry, I think I may be getting my facts a little muddled.

Let’s reset.

The Titanic truly lived up to its name. It was the biggest, most prestigious ship of its day and was set to rule the seas for many years to come. There’s really no point in going into great detail about either the construction features or the tragic set of circumstances that led to the deaths of more than 1,500 poor souls that fateful night as, by now, after 99 years (not to mention a three-hour epic that chronicled the adventures of Jack Dawson and Rose DeWitt Bukater) the story is woven into the fabric of history. Instead, we shall take a look at some other ‘unsinkable ships’ that struck icebergs of a different kind and sank without trace into murky waters. Some were half-raised years later and others languish still.

Full report (pdf)

Hmmm Apr 14 2011